Friends of the Old Courthouse is a non-profit organization (501c3) dedicated to raising awareness of the historical significance of the Old McHenry County Courthouse and Sheriff’s House on the Woodstock Square and to raising funds that will further the restoration of the buildings. Become a member with exciting benefits!
Join our Gingerbread House Contest (view the guidelines and download the entry form by clicking on the orange Gingerbread Contest tab) and then view the entries in the lobby of the Old Courthouse, 101 N. Johnson Street, Woodstock, from the Lighting of the Square (11/25/16) until mid-December (12/16/16). Register now; until November 4th!
Help preserve an anchor of the Woodstock Square and an important building in McHenry County’s history by donating to our first capital campaign – Windows to Our History! We are focusing on the 80+ windows of the Old Courthouse as our first priority. This will enable us to halt further water damage from broken, leaking windows and stabilize the building.
HISTORY OF THE OLD COURTHOUSE:
The old McHenry County Courthouse was constructed in 1857 by prominent architect, John Mills Van Osdel. The adjoining Sheriff’s House was constructed thirty years later in 1887 and housed the County Sheriff and his family while inmates occupied jail cells in the back. Early on, it was customary for the sheriff’s wife to prepare meals for the inmates.
The deteriorating complex was vacated in 1972 (after more than 100 years) and moved to a new Courthouse on Route 47 in Woodstock. The Old Courthouse and the Sheriff’s House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.